Sunday, March 22, 2015

Breast Cancer and Folate - Will it Protect You? Me?

I passed the first diagnostic mammo (required for two years here after treatment.)   So am I in the clear?  Can I do something to prepare for next year's?

Funny thing happened today (not really that funny.)  I zeroed in on another health problem I haven't been able to get a fix for.   And vitamin deprivation including insufficient folate was mentioned on Mayo Clinic as a possible cause of that problem.

Now today I see this Mt. Sinai Medicine Matters article that says folate in my diet might prevent BC. Hank Schmidt, MD, Phd, FACS, the writer, is also  Director of the Cancer Risk Program at Dubin Breast Center of the Tisch Cancer Institute.  He names the very large EPIC study that followed women for 11 years, also says, re Estrogen-receptive cancers:

     "...other studies have suggested the risk of ER- cancers may be
      more sensitive to dietary components, such as B vitamins."  

I found that wording a bit confusing.

So how much folate does a young woman need to try for this protection?

      "Interestingly in the EPIC study, breast cancer risk was lower with
      increasing folate intake, and lowest in women taking
      400 micrograms daily."

That certainly interested me enough to grab my vitamin bottle.  My multi-vitamin, which is not for any particular age, says, you guessed it, that 400 mcg (micrograms) daily is the minimum daily requirement of folate.  So the women studied had not been taking that much before the study?

 Okay, it says younger women but it says "particularly young women" not only young women.   Yes, I was told long ago that we don't need so much folate after we stop having periods.  But at least we need ENOUGH for the age we are.  Wonder if my doc knows how much?

There is also a PubMed article suggesting folate will help:

     Higher dietary folate intake reduces the breast cancer risk: a systematic 

      review and meta-analysis. 2014 Apr 2 

If you are young or just as interested as I am, here's the Mt. Sinai article:

I wish you health.

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